APP OF THE DAY: National Portrait Gallery review (iPhone)
If you're sick and tired of Angry Birds and apps that make your photos look like you took them in the 1970s, then how about trying something a little more cultured? London's National Portrait Gallery recently introuduced its first app, courtesy of ATS Heritage.
National Portrait Gallery (iPhone)
- iOS 4.2 or later
The app is designed to accompany you on your visit to the gallery, and provides videos and audio commentaries from the curators so that you can find out all about the faces in the paintings. Just make sure that you use your headphones rather than blaring the commentaries out on your built-in speaker, otherwise you're likely to get your self thrown out or at the very least, earn yourself a stern ticking off from the nearest security guard.
You can also zero in on the highlights of the gallery's collection by selecting one of several themes including Kings and Queens, Science and Discovery, Fame and Celebrity, and Writers. You can view any of the portraits as images on your iPhone screen and even zoom in for a closer look.
You'll also find gallery maps there will tell you where the portraits are located and how to find them. The gallery's collection is said to comprise 10,000 portraits - whether there'll all included here is unlikely, but there's certainly enough to keep you going for a while. You'll also find plenty of information about visiting the gallery, such as opening times and more details on the shops and restaurants.
Even if you're not planning a trip to the NPG any time soon, the the app is still a great way to browse through some of the most famous likenesses ever captured. If you like art or history or you just like looking at pretty pictures then this app is money well spent.
You'll need to make sure that you're running iOS 4.2 on your iDevice or else the app won't work and be warned that this info-packed app takes a while to download (it took us half an hour).